A Perfect Hamburg Getaway with Reichshof Hamburg, Curio Collection by Hilton

Straddling the Elbe River, the handsome Hanseatic city of Hamburg has been showing visitors a good time for centuries. Its waterfront, long a bustling port, has been updated with shiny new HafenCity and Elbphilharmonie projects and its contemporary thrills extend to world-class restaurants, shops, art galleries, and a notoriously buzzy nightlife. The Reichshof Hamburg, with its mix of Art Deco nostalgia and hip now-ness, makes a central base for exploring Germany’s second biggest city.

Reichshof Hamburg, Curio Collection by Hilton

One of the swankiest places to stay in Hamburg’s city center, the Reichshof Hamburg (est. 1910) enjoys a prime location across from the main train station—in easy access to the Alster Lakes, major sights like the Rathaus and the Kunsthalle, and the upscale boutiques and restaurants of the Jungfernstieg promenade. Refurbished in 2014, the hotel’s glamorous, marble-clad interiors recall its Art Deco glory, while its 278 rooms and suites feature contemporary amenities like HDTVs, complimentary WiFi, and soothing rainfall showers. After a day out exploring Hamburg, unwind at the hotel’s spa, sit down to a satisfying meal at Stadt Restaurant, or sample the impressive whisky selection at Bar 1910.

St. Pauli & Reeperbahn Neighborhoods

The Hamburg district of St. Pauli may be best known for its raucous nightlife and popular soccer team, but it counts plenty more charms. Down by the harbor, you can watch container and cruise ships peacefully drift by the attractive and historic Landungsbrücken piers. In contrast, the buzzing Karolinenviertel attracts shoppers to its indie boutiques. Culture vultures can enjoy a show at St. Pauli Theatre, admire Hadi Teherani’s glass-and-steel Dancing Towers, or stroll the pleasant pathways of the Planten un Blomen Park. The neon-heavy Reeperbahn area, while still seedy in parts, now has an annual festival showcasing local and international live acts. And spots like the Idol bar, with its local craft beer selection and recycled interior, and the bunker club Übel & Gefärlich, show off the district’s trendier side.

Art Galleries

Hamburg’s cultural credentials are well established at both the mainstream and avant-garde levels. Among the most prominent blockbusters are the Deichtorhallen—two former market halls whose 60,000 square feet showcase modern painters, sculptors, and designers—and the Haus der Photographie, a permanent collection of works by fashion photographer F.C Gundlach as well as temporary exhibitions by German and international artists. Another must-see is the Kunsthalle, the largest art museum in Germany, whose notable permanent collection includes 17th-century Dutch art alongside high-profile Impressionist and Modernist works. For more independent kicks, the Flo Peters Gallery offers fine-art photography from the twentieth century (both local and international), while the LEVY Galerie is a great venue for fans of surrealism and pop art.

High and Low Dining

Foodies won’t be disappointed with Hamburg’s culinary scene, which spans Michelin-starred restaurants (10 to be exact, with a total of 15 stars between them), mid-range neighborhood favorites, and an increasing slew of pop-ups and street food spots. For serious fireworks, book well ahead for Kevin Fehling’s three-Michelin-starred The Table, which serves a constantly evolving tasting menu for 20 guests at a time. Prefer memorable food without the price tag? The small and smart Cornelia Poletto serves top-notch pasta, antipasti, and herbed rotisserie chicken backed up by hundreds of quality wines, while Nil has been offering its impeccable French-, German- and Mediterranean-influenced dishes since 1989. Fans of pulled pork, burgers, vegan tacos, and the like will love the Hallo Frau Nachbar (summer only) neighborhood market, as well as the weekly Food Truck Market in Altona. The city’s original street food, the Sunday morning fish market, has been serving up sandwiches, soups, and more since the early 18th century.

Alster Lakes

The handsome Alster Lakes have been a significant part of Hamburg’s inner-city atmosphere since the thirteenth century. They’re comprised of the larger, tree-lined Outer Alster (Außenalster), which is ringed by eye-catching villas, picturesque cafes, and boat-hire kiosks, as well as the smaller Inner Alster (Binnenalster), whose Jungfernstieg promenade features magnificent architecture and high-end boutiques.

The Außenalster’s pathways and green slopes offer abundant sunbathing, strolling, jogging, and rollerblading opportunities, while the lake itself is popular with swimmers, boat-trippers, and kayakers alike—not to mention ice-skaters in winter. Nearby, you can admire the striking neo-Renaissance Rathaus (City Hall) and its opulent interiors on a guided tour. 

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